SNES vs Genesis Sound

Jun 1, 2014
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Question: the 32 bit era was the first to use straight up data stream ala mp3/wav, or was it later?
In fact Sega-CD uses a lot of Redbook Audio, probably PC-Engine CD too. Also Neo-Geo CD.

In the 32 bits era, games became bigger in size, and all do not have Redbook audio. It is more of an exception in fact. So in terms of quality, Sega-CD audio is often superior to what we had on 32 bits.

Sega Saturn also has games with Redbook audio, quite a few ones. However, for games with a lot of content, you will get compressed audio or midi. All Final Fantasy games on PS1 have midi music. Dragon Force, Shining Force III etc...
 
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In fact Sega-CD uses a lot of Redbook Audio, probably PC-Engine CD too. Also Neo-Geo CD.

In the 32 bits era, games became bigger in size, and all do not have Redbook audio. It is more of an exception in fact. So in terms of quality, Sega-CD audio is often superior to what we had on 32 bits.

Sega Saturn also has games with Redbook audio, quite a few ones. However, for games with a lot of content, you will get compressed audio or midi. All Final Fantasy games on PS1 have midi music. Dragon Force, Shining Force III etc...
I see. What was the nintendo 64 audio format?
 
Oct 17, 2017
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SNES sound chip is vastly superior and it's not even close.

The fact that there's even an argument is somewhat embarrassing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgRZAGQPJVY

This alone puts the discussion to rest. If this were the only game to ever come out on the fucking system it would be enough.
The music is good synth but those sound effects are ass.

Side note, those sprites are beautifully animated and the backgrounds are amazing too, such a great game for Genesis.
 
Aug 18, 2014
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I know I contributed to this topic at some point, and I understand where most Genesis supporters are coming from, but the issue with a "Game system" sound is that it doesn't only have to reproduce music, but other sounds as well, a basketball drivel, a Hadooken sound, Voice overs, etc., and Super Nintendo just had a superior chip for this overall effects.

But, speaking of music and only music, Super Nintendo could achieve some amazing compositions. If only the Genesis could ever come up with a composition that would even come close to this level, I would be surprised, in fact I don't think it's technically possible.

Must listen with headphones
 
Mar 30, 2015
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I know I contributed to this topic at some point, and I understand where most Genesis supporters are coming from, but the issue with a "Game system" sound is that it doesn't only have to reproduce music, but other sounds as well, a basketball drivel, a Hadooken sound, Voice overs, etc., and Super Nintendo just had a superior chip for this overall effects.

But, speaking of music and only music, Super Nintendo could achieve some amazing compositions. If only the Genesis could ever come up with a composition that would even come close to this level, I would be surprised, in fact I don't think it's technically possible.

Must listen with headphones
you're right about sound effects to an extent.The Genesis across-the-board had a harder time with effects.Composition of music was purely up to the composer.There are many tracks from Hitoshi Sakimoto on the Genesis that are far more intricate than that song.
 
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I'm really very suprise about the Genny Sunset Riders ost overall quality against the Super Nes version.

Genesis

Super Nes

Genesis

Super Nes
Are you saying the Genesis version is better? I think the SNES one is superior and sounds more western. Though that was the version I did grow up playing.
 
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Jun 1, 2014
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I know I contributed to this topic at some point, and I understand where most Genesis supporters are coming from, but the issue with a "Game system" sound is that it doesn't only have to reproduce music, but other sounds as well, a basketball drivel, a Hadooken sound, Voice overs, etc., and Super Nintendo just had a superior chip for this overall effects.

But, speaking of music and only music, Super Nintendo could achieve some amazing compositions. If only the Genesis could ever come up with a composition that would even come close to this level, I would be surprised, in fact I don't think it's technically possible.
Pretty sure this has nothing to do with the console. Megadrive can play perfectly well what ever sound-effect you want. In the end, you just need a good quality sample and use the channel dedicated for this on the audio proc. Also, a good sound-driver is required. I am pretty sure that there are many tech demos out there that play songs with lyrics perfectly fine on Megadrive.

As shown before, it was possible to make this on Genesis :
Then the same composer made things like Sa'eed or Solar Modulation, different style, but insane quality. Also many other SNES covers.

Also this :

Again, classical music is not the strength of the Megadrive. However, it blows away SNES in terms of sound clarity, and is capable of fantastic percussion and bass.
 
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Pretty sure this has nothing to do with the console. Megadrive can play perfectly well what ever sound-effect you want. In the end, you just need a good quality sample and use the channel dedicated for this on the audio proc. Also, a good sound-driver is required. I am pretty sure that there are many tech demos out there that play songs with lyrics perfectly fine on Megadrive.

As shown before, it was possible to make this on Genesis :
Then the same composer made things like Sa'eed or Solar Modulation, different style, but insane quality. Also many other SNES covers.

Also this :

Again, classical music is not the strength of the Megadrive. However, it blows away SNES in terms of sound clarity, and is capable of fantastic percussion and bass.


Yes, clarity is what sets the Genesis apart. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it had something to do with higher compression used on SNES.

Clarity aside, on the overall technical level, the SNES is simply superior and to me, nothing makes that clearer than the Chrono Trigger example you just posted. Although a valiant effort, if I close my eyes, what I picture is someone with a grand piano brilliantly reproducing the original Chrono Trigger soundtrack, aka, someone with a grand piano trying to reproduce an orchestra of sounds, although with higher clarity since the orchestra was recorded and played back with high compression causing it to lose a bit of fidelity, but nevertheless, authentic orchestrated sound with discreet instrument identity: French horns, Violins, Cellos, Tubas, Harps, etc., played back on a lower fidelity device is my preference over someone on a piano trying to replicate all.
 
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Jun 1, 2014
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Sure, in the end, both consoles had very different strengths. There really isn't much more to say about it. You will always find tunes from one machine very difficult to reproduce on the other one.

Which is perfectly fine. It is all those differences that made the times back then so interesting and entertaining.

I believe that you don't have compression on the sound produced by the Synth FM processor, which is why the sound is so clear on Megadrive. With the exception of course of the channel used to play back samples.
 
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Yes, clarity is what sets the Genesis apart. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it had something to do with higher compression used on SNES.

Clarity aside, on the overall technical level, the SNES is simply superior and to me, nothing makes that clearer than the Chrono Trigger example you just posted. Although a valiant effort, if I close my eyes, what I picture is someone with a grand piano brilliantly reproducing the original Chrono Trigger soundtrack, aka, someone with a grand piano trying to reproduce an orchestra of sounds, although with higher clarity since the orchestra was recorded and played back with high compression causing it to lose a bit of fidelity, but nevertheless, authentic orchestrated sound with discreet instrument identity: French horns, Violins, Cellos, Tubas, Harps, etc., played back on a lower fidelity device is my preference over someone on a piano trying to replicate all.
That CT track also didn't sound that good coming out of a system.In any case , the Genesis was better at capturing the timbre of instruments as well.That's not to say the Snes doesn't have it's strengths, but capturing the nuance of an instrument is very hard to do with an 8kb sample.
 

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Jul 29, 2005
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I know I contributed to this topic at some point, and I understand where most Genesis supporters are coming from, but the issue with a "Game system" sound is that it doesn't only have to reproduce music, but other sounds as well, a basketball drivel, a Hadooken sound, Voice overs, etc., and Super Nintendo just had a superior chip for this overall effects.

But, speaking of music and only music, Super Nintendo could achieve some amazing compositions. If only the Genesis could ever come up with a composition that would even come close to this level, I would be surprised, in fact I don't think it's technically possible.

Must listen with headphones
Beyond Oasis had some good stuff.

 
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Aug 18, 2014
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You guys keep posting more examples that to me have the same style of sound. It's almost like I can hear the limitation of the Genesis to be bound by this style. They sound great and I don't think anyone is denying that the Genesis is capable of producing some quality stuff, but who can argue something that's subjective? To say you prefer this style of sound is one thing, but to say it's superior is another. One thing that's undeniably superior is the clarity, but overall when including other capabilities, SNES is superior. Saying your prefer the sounds from the Genesis is like saying you prefer 2D graphics over 3D and point out how the Saturn produced so many great 2D gems compared to the PSX, but graphically, the PSX is objectively a more capable machine.
 
Jun 1, 2014
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but who can argue something that's subjective? To say you prefer this style of sound is one thing, but to say it's superior is another. One thing that's undeniably superior is the clarity, but overall when including other capabilities, SNES is superior.
I don't really understand where this post comes from honestly. I did not claim that SNES was inferior or MegaDrive was superior. I simply pointed at the differences, and linked some videos and music that I like on MegaDrive.

You have the right to prefer SNES music or find it superior. However, you are now stating this as if it was an absolute truth. I prefer not going into that territory.

but graphically, the PSX is objectively a more capable machine.
Well this certainly does not look that simple to me. Easier to use, without a doubt, but better at 3D ? I don't know.
 
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You guys keep posting more examples that to me have the same style of sound. It's almost like I can hear the limitation of the Genesis to be bound by this style. They sound great and I don't think anyone is denying that the Genesis is capable of producing some quality stuff, but who can argue something that's subjective? To say you prefer this style of sound is one thing, but to say it's superior is another. One thing that's undeniably superior is the clarity, but overall when including other capabilities, SNES is superior. Saying your prefer the sounds from the Genesis is like saying you prefer 2D graphics over 3D and point out how the Saturn produced so many great 2D gems compared to the PSX, but graphically, the PSX is objectively a more capable machine.
What you're saying would be correct if the Snes had better handling of samples.As it stands there are instruments the Genesis does better and then there's the issue of timbre which the Snes has a harder time with.
 
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[QUOTE = "Journey, post: 253167341, member: 473954"] Vocês continuam postando mais artigos para mim tem o mesmo estilo de som. É quase como se eu pudesse Pareça uma limitação do Gênesis para ser vinculada por esse estilo. Eles soam excelentes e acho que ninguém está em negação que o Gênesis e capaz de produzir uma coisa de qualidade, mas quem pode argumentar algo subjetivo? Para dizer que você prefere esse estilo de som é uma coisa, mais informações sobre isso é superior. Uma coisa que é inegavelmente superior é a clareza, mas, em geral, quando inclui outras capacidades, o SNES é superior. Dizer que prefere os filhos do Genesis é como dizer que você prefere os gráficos 2D em 3D e apontar como o Saturno produziu tão grandes gemas 2D em com o PSX, mas, graficamente, o PSX é objetivamente uma máquina mais capaz. [/ QUOTE]


 
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I owned both consoles in their heyday and love the music on both but I'll always perfer the music that came out of my Genesis (and TG16) more. All of those awesome and memorable tracks from all of my favorites will be stuck in my head forever.

Here are a few of my favorites!


Drums were always awesome in this one!

Running Pleasure and Steal into the Night are equally awesome!
 
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Axelay is such an incredible soundtrack.

Not sure why rock and roll racing is an example of a trump card for snes sound, lol. It’s sounds so awful.
Axelay's soundtrack is amazing. I figured he'd want something with more Rock flavor, just showing the SNES is perfectly capable of Rock soundtracks, and imo that does not sound awful, unoriginal... yes, but not awful, but alas I will remove it lol.
 
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Rock 'n Roll racing sounds embarrassingly bad. If your goal is to highlight some of the aural gems of the SNES, the last thing you should be doing is busting out the video game equivalent of your dad regaling you and your friends with pre-programmed classic rock favourites on his brand new Casio keyboard.
 
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Rock 'n Roll racing sounds embarrassingly bad. If your goal is to highlight some of the aural gems of the SNES, the last thing you should be doing is busting out the video game equivalent of your dad regaling you and your friends with pre-programmed classic rock favourites on his brand new Casio keyboard.

:D:D
 
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Somewhere in space
I see your Thunder Force with Axelay Cononly Soundtrack:

Must listen with headphones and past the bridge section.

Mmm, that's good stuff. I like the way it layers lots of small complex drum elements together, that gives it a certain groove that really comes out in the opening bars of the guitar cover above.

Nice bass riffs too- so many soundtracks take the (understandably) easy route of sticking with root notes, but this noodles around with it to good effect.

Speaking of good SNES noises, the MegaMan X games are well-renowned for their guitar, but this unused Undertale track comes to mind:

It uses the same soundfont as the X games for certain instruments, which lends it a nice old-school feel. Not sure if the entire track would be recreatable on hardware though- some of the effects on the other sounds seem a bit high-fidelity.

Also if we're posting guitar covers, this metal version of the TF4 track is a total facemelter:

Wish I could figure out who made it, because goddamn.
 
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Aug 18, 2014
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I think part of the problem, or the benefit depending on how you look at it, is that developers used both chips in the Genesis to create their soundtracks. The YM2612 FM synthesiser chip + The PSG chip from the old Master system. This allowed for some unique sounding tracks, but at the same time introduced the lower quality sound bites that people often complain about the Genesis.

This is a very interesting video:


Thanks to this video I cannot un-hear the PSG tracks on most Genesis soundtracks :eek:

Can you identify the sounds coming from the Master System chip?

Now lets listen to the SNES version. All of the sounds are produced by the modern chip, the whole thing just sounds superior, gothic and foreboding:

 
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This allowed for some unique sounding tracks, but at the same time introduced the lower quality sound bites that people often complain about the Genesis.
Another issue is that people are often hearing these games through emulation or through poor hardware revisions that make them sound a lot worse, and compressed by youtube, though that's usually a pretty minor thing.
 
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I think part of the problem, or the benefit depending on how you look at it, is that developers used both chips in the Genesis to create their soundtracks. The YM2612 FM synthesiser chip + The PSG chip from the old Master system. This allowed for some unique sounding tracks, but at the same time introduced the lower quality sound bites that people often complain about the Genesis.

This is a very interesting video:


Thanks to this video I cannot un-hear the PSG tracks on most Genesis soundtracks :eek:

Can you identify the sounds coming from the Master System chip?

Now lets listen to the SNES version. All of the sounds are produced by the modern chip, the whole thing just sounds superior, gothic and foreboding:

There's no PSG in the Genesis rendition of Bloody Tears.Honestly I have no idea why Bloodlines' instrumentation turned out the way it did, Konami was usually on point.The PSG can mix in very well, but it depends on the composer.
 
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I think part of the problem, or the benefit depending on how you look at it, is that developers used both chips in the Genesis to create their soundtracks. The YM2612 FM synthesiser chip + The PSG chip from the old Master system.

This is a very interesting video:


Thanks to this video I cannot un-hear the PSG tracks on most Genesis soundtracks :eek:

Can you identify the sounds coming from the Master System chip?
Yeah, nothing lol. Bloodlines doesn't touch the master system chip.

Also, I'm surprised the harsh criticism of rock n roll racing above. It's not his best work, but I thought follin did a decent job. The sampling better than average for the system.

This allowed for some unique sounding tracks, but at the same time introduced the lower quality sound bites that people often complain about the Genesis.
No.. that would be the low quality samples played by the yamaha chip. Most of the time when games used the PSG they did a good job of it. Pure square waves seem to complement FM sound pretty well, which I guess is why yamaha included a similar (but superior ) version of the same chip in it's ym2203 and ym2608 chips used in the PC-88 and 98.

edit # 3 -- I don't know if you can really compare it to thunder force, but green lantern was pretty good.

 
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Yeah, nothing lol. Bloodlines doesn't touch the master system chip.
So those harsh sounds in the soundtrack are produced by the YM2612 chip? then I'm out of excuses for the Genesis, I thought those brash sounds were generated by the PSG chip. Please don't tell me you prefer the Bloodlines bloody tears...
 
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So those harsh sounds in the soundtrack are produced by the YM2612 chip? then I'm out of excuses for the Genesis, I thought those brash sounds were generated by the PSG chip. Please don't tell me you prefer the Bloodlines bloody tears...
Personally I don't like either, I think the NES version is the best.I don't think you fully understand how psg or fm work.They can sound as harsh or as soft as you want, you have to program sounds for them from the ground up.All the 2612 technically gives you are 4 sine waves and you work from there.
 
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So those harsh sounds in the soundtrack are produced by the YM2612 chip? then I'm out of excuses for the Genesis, I thought those brash sounds were generated by the PSG chip. Please don't tell me you prefer the Bloodlines bloody tears...
I'm not a big fan of either, I prefer the original version (though I am a big fan of bloodline's original music).

Usually if a harsh noise comes out of the genesis it's FM produced, or it's a crappy low quality sample. Pure square waves are pretty clean sounding and that's all the psg chip can do, along with noise.
 
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I'm not a big fan of either, I prefer the original version (though I am a big fan of bloodline's original music).

Usually if a harsh noise comes out of the genesis it's FM produced, or it's a crappy low quality sample. Pure square waves are pretty clean sounding and that's all the psg chip can do, along with noise.
Lower frequency square waves can sound pretty bad.
 
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And put mexican mariachis in arcade renditions can sound very bad.



Serious, much of Super Nes soundtrack do this atrocious mexican like sound.


Now we're going into the subjective. I personally loved that theme song in Knights of the Round, loved the game as well. There's nothing technically wrong with that composition. I'm speaking about square sound waves sounding bad in the lower frequency range as something technical, not a personal preference.